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Simon McManus is a fictional character and major antagonist of the long-running ITV British soap opera Emmerdale.

He appeared as a supporting antagonist in 2016, an unseen character in 2017, and the secondary antagonist in 2018.

The character was portrayed by Liam Ainsworth.


Simon McManus first came to Emmerdale in 2016 as the drug dealer for local resident Holly Barton. He forced her to stage a robbery at a ice cream van where her friend Victoria Sugden works at. However, the robbery was foiled by the intervention of Holly's secret boyfriend Jai Sharma. Months later after Holly died, her sister Adam confronted Simon over the circuimstances behind her death.

In 2018, Simon chucked acid on Holly's relative Ross Barton; he had been paid by Ross' old girlfriend Debbie Dingle to beat up her former fiance Joe Tate, but in the end Simon assumed Ross to be Joe and chucked acid at Ross by mistake. Later on Simon was confronted by Debbie's father Cain Dingle, who attacked Simon and warned him to stay away from Debbie. Soon enough, Joe confronted Simon and learned the truth about Ross' acid attack before Simon is then arrested for the crime. However, he is acquitted and Ross vows revenge against him. Ross later sees Simon after the latter attacks Cain, but is unable to reach him in time when Simon flees from the scene.

Eventually, Ross and Simon have their showdown on the same day Joe's step-grandmother Kim Tate returns to the village - not long after their right-hand man Graham Foster catches Simon attempting to steal from Home Farm. A chase ensues and Ross ultimately apprehends Simon with the help from Cain's wife Moira; afterwards, Simon is arrested and jailed - though not before he grasses Debbie to the police for her involvement as well. However, Debbie is acquitted and reunites with Cain along with her mother Charity and two children Sarah and Jack respectively.


  • He made a total of 24 appearances throughout his time on the show.